tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News September 16, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT
season. sunday thanks to our panel and all of you for watching. hope to see al you here and fox news watch. [ bell ringing ] >> on the day americans mark 11 years since the 9/11 terror attacks, another attack was taking place on our embassy in another country. our ambassador to libya killed along with former elite seal team members
>> dided media miss their mission in how this could happen? >> war covered on the one session. >> and did the political press conspire plotting got you questions and protecting the president from taking the heat? >> it was a week of big news and a week in which bias affected the news coverage. >> on the panel this week, writer and fox news contributor, judy miller. radio talk show host, monica crowley, jim pinkerton. kirsten powers and richard grenell that served for press spokesman to the last four ambassadors to the u.n. i'm jon scott. fox news watch is on right now.
>> jon: the scene in benghazi, september 11th as what was believed to be, what we're were to believe reuters, protesting an anti-muslim film supposedly produced in this country. that film blames the cause for islamic protestors attacking embassy in cairo egypt. someone in that embassy tweeted this message in response to the riot. we firmly reject the actions by those that abuse the universal right of freedom of speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others. politico said they decided to distance themselves. the statement by the embassy in cairo was not cleared by washington and does not reflect the views of the united states government. mitt romney also reacted to the attack west side this statement. i am outraged by the attacks on american diplomatic missions in
libya and egypt and by the death of an american consulate worker in benghazi. romney held a press conference the next day. >> possibly the administration was wrong sympathizing of those instead of condemning their actions. it's never too early for the united states government to condemn attacks on americans and to defend our values. the white house distanced the last night from the statement saying it wasn't cleared by washington. that reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world. >> jon: president also faced the media on wednesday. >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. we're working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats. i've directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. >> jon: that is an extremely
abbreviated time line. question for us on news watch how did the media react or fail to react to the news surrounding these events? let's go to correspondent shannon bream for more. >> late tuesday, g.o.p. nominee mitt romney released a statement calling the administration's initial response to the attacks in egypt disgraceful. they appeared to, quote, sympathize with those that waged the attacks. it came in the response of an embassy statement which hillary clinton had reportedly rejected and senator officials say the white house never approved. yet despite the distance the administration to want it between it and embassy statement only romney seems to be taking the heat for criticizing it. >> the statement looks tone deaf in this light. >> reporter: they called romney's statement, unwise and inaccurate and unpresidential. >> the president's policies in the middle east should be the big story.
how are the president's policies affecting what is happening over there. instead it's mitt romney's problem. >> reporter: just before romney faced the press to take questions reporters could be heard conferring with each other. >> i would say regret to your question, i mean your statement not even the tone. >> media watchers including john stossel conversations like that one are note necessarily rare. >> they have a limited time with the president or candidate and they want to get an answer to that question so they do a little coordination. >> reporter: in the end rather than being pressed for details. he elected not to cancel a fund-raiser in las vegas, the president in a sit down interview was given a chance to criticize romney. >> it couldn't play better for
the president. he is the president. he is the one whose policies that are under question right now. much of the heat is being taken off of him. >> some of the questions that romney took from reporters were about his statement rather than the events in libya and egypt. after the president gave his statement, he took no questions. >> jon: shannon raises a number of questions about the events of the week and kochblg of it. we'll get to some of them here in this program. jim, first of all the president, other than his sit down with 60 minutes, he answered questions from the media about all the events of this week. why not? >> he has chosen not to. in many ways wisely so because the situation is so fluid. look, as richard benedetto that covered in white house in the bush 41 administration, look, this is playing to the president's advantage. here is how. there are many stories the press
could be talking about. they could be talking about the death of stevens and egypt and talk about the tweets and who said what. talk about arab spring. they could be talking about global village and one guy is setting off movies and across a chain of events or they can choose to see throughs the prism of the presidential campaign and take one statement from mitt romney and turn that around. so probably by friday the story had gotten so serious they had to realize the real issue is the middle east. the chances that anybody in middle east listening to mitt romney is zero. nobody is getting upset because mitt romney said something on wednesday. >> jon: that is question. that has been the story. what did mitt romney say and when did he say it nobody is asking why were we not prepared on attacks on 9/11 for instance?
>> that is clearly a question that has been under covered along with other sishs. how is it possible that a junior public affairs officer somebody who is reporting to ambassador in egypt who is in washington did not clear his statements. it caused tremendous controversy. what about the movie? is there a movie that caused this whole thing supposedly? there are so many facts that are yet to be determined. to turn this into a political thing is missing the story. >> jon: you had an article in the daily beast and you served on the romney advisement team earlier in his campaign. you said why is it okay for the secretary of state to condemn the cairo embassy tweet as ineffective but not okay for mitt romney to do the same? >> i find it puzzling.
i worked at the state department for eight years in the bush administration. i know what it's like to serve in a diplomatic post and try to get washington to approve something. it takes a very long time. that is the frustration here for me is that why are we critiquing when mitt romney spoke or the timing whether it was too early. the simple fact the president of united states waited 15 hours while a developing situation took hold and became more violent. why aren't we asking where the president was during those 15 hours? if i was out in embassy cairo dealing with all this as it was unfolding. i wanted the president of the united states to start condemning the violence. the president's first were to condemn mitt romney. i think that is not right. >> jon: the press seemed to echo that. the question is was that the appropriate response of the media given what happened.
the former secretary of defense under george w. bush. here was this tweet from donald rumsfeld. the attack on our embassy says a result of perceived american weakness. mitt romney is right to point that out. is anyone in the media saying that? >> no, this is exactly the point. mitt romney is not just to be president but to be commander in chief. he was perfectly within his rights to say what he said being critical of the president's response. the bigger pointed we do have sitting commander in chief right now. this is about his policies that in large part have led to this islamist mess. we have elite press corps, one they are interested in the horse race they try to skew night political narrative and number two, they are in full protect obama mode. that is what you saw this week. what is happening in washington
right now and the middle east under this president, this is not about mitt romney or barack obama and those questions have not been raised. >> jon: talking about diplomacy by twitter, mark halperin tweeted unless mitt romney has gained the crisis and completely invisible to the gang of 500, doubling down is most ill-advised move. this appeared on times website. you can read it for yourself. se about the romney campaign has gamed out the crisis and so on. and howard kirtz tweeted did mitt romney pull the trigger too soon on statement ripping administration over libyan consulate killing. and this headline in the daily beast, mitt romney's ill-timed assault on president obama, as americans are killed abroad. and l.a. times james rainy tweeted, cockeyed mitt romney takes libyan tragedy and find a way to side with moronic
pastor terry jones. and then came this headline in the l.a. times, mitt romney should triple down on libya rally with reverend jones. so are the tweets sort of influencing the way this gets covered, the narrative of this? which comes first the chicken or the egg? and i don't know if the the tweets hadn't happened it would have had the same thing, but you look at that and you have to say, just, do they even care about what was actually unfolding in front of their eyes in the middle east? because, you see the outrage of accusing the president of being assaulted? i'm sorry, there were human beings being murdered and our embassy was under attack, ab we were watching our american flag being torn up and burned and the islamic flag flying over our embassy. i really do wonder, i'm asking legitimately as i look at those, do they even care? it doesn't seem like any sense of something terrible is
happening and we should be paying attention to it and what was raised earlier, the absolute radio silence. richard was 100% correct. where was the president and why was the first thing they said about mitt romney's statement. >> jon: all right thement we have to take a break and next on news watch, did the members of the the media plot to ambush mitt romney this week? >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. >> america will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. we have confidence in our cause in america. >> president obama and governor romney reacting to attacks against our embassies. which man got
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knew a media was going to obsess on this. and obsess they did. they are fascinated by this process story to beat up mitt romney rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger question about policy. >> jon: fox news contributor commenting on media reaction to mitt romney's press conference about the attacks on u.s. embassies earlier this week and to the point that some members of the press were obsessing on romney's reaction prior to the governor's arrival. >> i would say to your question, your statement, not even the tone.... >> it was covered on the one session. >> do you stand by your statement. >> jon: if that was media plot,
here is how it unfolded later. >> do you regretted the tone now given what we know now? >> coming so soon how the events unfolded was appropriate to be weighing on this dreisz is unfolding in realtime. >> talking about the video. isn't it film when you criticize the situation when americans are being killed. >> you you jump the gun last night and you should have waited until more details were available until we learned about all this happening? >> we have peeled back the curtain a bit on reporter behavior. this kind of thing happens on every big news conference. >> because there is one subject that the press, the press corps or people following politics must be addressed and they decide it's going to be addressed but what is interesting about this everyone
asked the same question. i was struck by the criticism of governor romney from conservative republicans, some people bike peg any noonan who talked about a verbal cringe and romney looking like nixon in the middle of this press conference. i think ultimately the american tendency is to rally around the presidency at the moment of crisis so not only what he said was probably bad policy but bad politics. >> jon: jim, the timing though, he gets hammered for criticizing the statements he put out the night before, but that statement seemed to be in line what the state department had done? >> right. and that press conference, what mark halperin was quoted as saying, the gang of 500, if you ever needed to illustrate the conservative critique, 500 people out of 315 million and
who generally has all the studies from the from for the need public suggests, marry each other and operate as a unit between mark halperin'snumeration you can see it in action. >> jon: i'm not sure anyone has the perspective where you had to stand up in the bank of microphones and answer reporter questions, give us your thoughts? >> it's really unbelievable the group thing and i think it's getting works every single year. i don't blame lazy journalists but i do think the 24-hour news cycle the pressure to be first, the pressure to tweet. the pressure to do something on social media means that these journalists are having to rush too much. there is a danger in that. that is why twitter and other sources are really good to put the pressure on reporters that
continue the group thing. what you saw from cbs news and npr there conspiring happens all the time where it's the press versus the one person behind the podium. we have to get back where the press is competitive. they are checking each other and we have multiple news sources. that is where you get the accurate information. >> jon: judy talked about conservatives who attacked mitt romney for the whole thing, but there was some support from conservatives like rich lowery and occasional panelist on this program. he wrote in the journal, the reports from earlier this week about how obama would use foreign policy had barrel faded when where they --
this was tantamount to an ambush by the governor. it showed in the tone and structure of each one of those questions, judy was right. it's all basically the same question and when did you stop beating your wife, governor. those are the kinds of questions. we have lost sight or maybe they just don't care about the bigger picture here. why was it that these embassies were so ill prepared for 9/11 when we got word that the state department and white house were given a warning by egyptian intelligence that this could happen. >> jon: he disavowed that.
>> we'll see how that works out but the question should be raised. why has the president blown off the intelligence briefings including the one the day after the attack of september 12th when he was flying back from vegas and the bigger question about investigating whether or not we're looking at a new axis of terror between the muslim brotherhood. new president was in tehran last week. how about investigating some of that rather than focusing all of your fire on governor romney who is not yet commander in chief. >> jon: what about the commander in chief said he isn't sure whether egypt is an alley or -- ally or they are not an enemy? >> they wanted an answer and there was a lot of pressure put on the state department. but what happened. they are still are an ally.
so the president was in fact trying to send a message overseas it wasn't coordinated with the state department. i think if that was republican president it will probably it would prove he was out of touch in the same way and total radio silence has this was unfolding. but nobody seemed to be interested in that component. >> jon: do you have a thought on that? >> it's a really good point that hillary, secretary of state clinton really had to step in and be the adult. she was the first one positive respond. she stood next to the president when the president was reading scripted statement. i think there is somebody needs to ask the question about the 3:00 a.m. phone call we keep hearing clearly this phone call was ringing all night long and president obama was sleeping. he slept through the night and didn't comment until the next morning. hillary answered the call. there are some really good lines
of questioning that needs to be done and haven't been done because everything has been focused about mitt romney going too early and they were asking if obama went too late. >> if you see something, e-mail us at foxnews.com. >> what grade would you give the media this week? >> have the media hit a new low in the coverage of the attacks on u.s. embassies? rush to judgment, reporting wrong facts, sensational reporting is this a new pattern for bad journalism? the answer is next on news ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling, unsurpassed luxury
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film made in the u.s. that protestors say insults islam. halfway around the world in cairo an explosion. muslim protestors stormed the embassy angry over a film they consider insulting they consider to the prophet muhammad. >> jon: broadcast from september 11th. cbs missed the attack on the embassy and led with president obama's first interview since the national convention. what about that? cbs, attacks on our embassy and cbs zuntd put it on at all? >> i think the "new york times" has more than excuse than cbs does because the "new york times" played attacks not even on the front page. that is time thing. no explanation for cbs. >> i have one. they made a deal with president obama they would put him first if he agreed to be interviewed.